ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Creator of phone-shaped gun says governor’s criticism of his plans is misdirected

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday came out strongly against soon-to-be-released double-barreled, .38-caliber handgun designed to look like a smartphone."I don't know how we can legislate thoroughly against human idiocy. It just b...

2444531+160408cellgun.jpg
Undated black and white courtesy image of the Ideal Conceal Pistol, a double-barreled .380-caliber handgun designed to look like a smart phone. The gun's creator, Kirk Kjellberg, said his .380-caliber gun is an adaptation of a "derringer" design that has existed for about a century. It takes two bullets and does not have any automatic or semiautomatic features. Clicking the safety off opens the gun so it is ready to fire. Image Courtesy of Ideal Conceal.

ST. PAUL - Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday came out strongly against soon-to-be-released double-barreled, .38-caliber handgun designed to look like a smartphone.
“I don’t know how we can legislate thoroughly against human idiocy. It just boggles the mind that somebody would invent something like this and then there’s a market for it,” the Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor said Thursday.
Dayton said he would write to New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, who plans to ask the federal government to investigate and potentially stop sales of the iPhone-resembling guns, about the subject.
“I think this requires a national prohibition,” Dayton said. “This is about people’s responsibility. The Second Amendment is a right, and with that comes a responsibility.”
Kirk Kjellberg, the Monticello, Minn., creator of the cellphone handgun, said the criticism is unfair and unwarranted.
“This is something that people would carry to defend themselves if they’re attacked,” he noted. Other guns with an approximately square shape are already on the market, he said.
“If you’re going to start banning stuff you have to go further than mine. ... Mine is legal from a federal standpoint,” he said. But, he added, “people fear what they do not understand. If they knew the concealed-carry market, they’d know my product is not a threat. There are more-powerful guns that can be concealed as easily or more easily than mine.”
Kjellberg said he got the idea for the phone-like gun when he was in a restaurant last summer, his jacket caught on a handle, and a young boy spotted his weapon.
“He said, ‘That guy has a gun,’ really loud,” he said. “The whole restaurant stopped for a second. Then everyone went about their business.
“I thought, ‘There has to be a better way,’” he said. “Then I noticed a guy talking on his phone. My phone was sitting in front of me. I thought, ‘That is something that will blend in.’”
He isn’t properly licensed to manufacture such a weapon, though, so he connected with a friend at a Big Lake engineering company that has federal clearance for weapon design.
Kjellberg set up a Facebook page in December and launched his company’s website in January. The site advertises the handgun at $395.
Much engineering work remains, he said, and a prototype will not be ready until June. Production isn’t likely to start until October at the earliest.

What To Read Next
The North Dakota Highway Patrol investigated the Wednesday, Jan. 25, crash.
Fundraising is underway to move the giant ball of twine from the Highland, Wisconsin, home of creator James Frank Kotera, who died last month at age 75, 44 years after starting the big ball.
“We see that when things happen in the coastal areas, a few years later, they start trending toward the Midwest,” said Rep. Ben Krohmer, serving his first term in the House.
“This is sensationalism at its finest, and it does not deserve to be heard in our state capitol,” Rep. Erin Healy, a Democrat and one of 10 votes against the bill in the 70-person chamber, said.